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U.S. News & World Report Poll

A March (1994) poll for U.S. News and World Report’s April 11 issue found that 93% of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit. Of those polled, 65% say religion is losing its influence on American life, although 62% say religion is increasing its influence in their personal lives. Other findings:

  • The Bible is the actual word of God to be taken literally, word for word: 34%
  • The Bible is the inspired word of God, but not everything in it can be taken literally: 46%
  • The Bible is an ancient book of legends, history and moral precepts, recorded by man: 16%
  • God is a heavenly father who can be reached by prayers: 76%
  • God is an idea, not a being: 11%
  • God is an impersonal creator: 8%
We have to keep church and state completely separate AgreeDisagree
There is no one set of values that is right48%44%
Each individual must determine what is right or wrong70%25%
The president should be a moral and spiritual leader 78% 17%
Our government would be better if policies were more directed by moral values 84% 9%
Individual freedom is critical to democracy in this country 91% 4%
God is the moral guiding force of American democracy 55%35%

Nearly 60% of Americans say they hold their current religious beliefs because of their parents’ example. More than 8 of every 10 Americans today believe that it’s possible to be a good Christian or Jew even without attending a church or synagogue.

U.S. News & World Report, April 4, 1994, pp. 48-59

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